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Reuse Christmas cards to make recycled bookmarks as gifts

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Christmas cards have beautiful pictures and aren’t cheap to buy or mail, so instead of tossing them out after Christmas, reuse and recycle the old cards to make new gifts. Most everyone can use a bookmark, and a handmade bookmark can be pretty as well as eco-friendly, and inexpensive to make with items you already have in your craft closet or around the house.

To make a bookmark from Christmas cards, first measure and cut an area approximately 2” x 8” on cardstock or a scrap piece of cardboard. Choose a solid color that fits the season, or cover it with scrapbooking or gift wrapping paper, preferably a solid color or something with a print that’s not too busy.

Cut out shapes from Christmas cards using a paper punch, or use regular scissors or a paper cutter to cut squares or rectangles. Make sure that whatever you cut will fit on the bookmark.

You can cut one long piece of a pretty scene to cover most of the bookmark, or several smaller pictures with a common theme to arrange in a column down the length of the bookmark. Glue or tape the pictures so that they are evenly spaced all the way around and appear to be framed by the colored backing, or stagger them off center or at an angle. If desired, you can punch a small hole in the top to thread a piece of yarn or ribbon for a tassel.

Don’t forget to look at the back of your Christmas cards to see if there are small pictures that can be reused as well. The photo above shows two small pictures that I cut out of the back of cards I had received, and they are the perfect size to use on a bookmark.

Homemade bookmarks are a great gift for kids to give to teachers, and a bookmark can also double as a gift tag for larger gift packages by writing From: and To: on the reverse.

Have more cards than you know what to do with? Here are three ways to recycle Christmas cards to be used as gift tags.

Click subscribe at the top of the page to be notified of all craft articles and patterns Marie Anne publishes. It's free and anonymous. To see more of what she has already published, click on Columbus Crafts Examiner.

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